Nov 28, 2012 8:00am PST
cain and lindsay graham and kelly ayotte could hardly have gone worse. they were more inflamed about rice's early public comments about the benghazi, libya attack than they had been before that meeting. cnn's dana bash has been watching all of this prenomination confrontation drama and joins us now to talk about this. i know you're trying to wrangle an interview and make sure you catch the senators as they emerge from the meetings. dana, it might sound to some as though some of the critics of ambassador rice feel differently about what they're criticizing. they don't all seem to be in lock step or at least have the same complaints. >> reporter: that's true. no question that there are different levels of issues that senators are upset about. i have to tell you the reason i'm on the phone now is because i'm waiting for a very important meeting that susan rice is having as we speak to wrap up and that is with senator susan collins. why is it important? because if she is nominated to be secretary of state and assuming that the republicans she met with yesterday stand by their desire to block her nomi
Nov 28, 2012 8:00am PST
with ayotte and graham and mccain coming out to talk about the fact that they're meeting with ambassador rice leaves them scratching their heads and with more questions? of course people want more answers to what happened in benghazi, but it's not up to ambassador rice. she's not fronting the investigation. >> no, but she's been part of that team that went on those sunday shows to talk act those issues to say it was a video that caused this. whether it was the talking points or the intelligence, she's the one in front of the tv cameras that said this. this is an audition to be the country's top diplomat. she's going into a hostile group, we would want her to have a better relationship after, not worse. she had three senators she knew she wasn't in a great relationship with. they seemed to be more open to her over the weekend. she went into a meeting and made it worse. regardless of what you think about susan rice -- >> were they really going to listen to her and come out and be, like, oh, god, we love susan rice now? i don't think that was ever going to be the backside of that meeting. >> no.
Nov 28, 2012 9:00am PST
there was a no love loss between senators graham, mccain and ayotte. vis-a-vis the u.s./u.n. ambassador. were you surprised susan collins went into a new line of attacks specifically indicting susan rice in the kenyan embassy attacks in the late '90 snz. >> yes. it was surprising. from folks i spoke to on capitol hill involved in national security issues did not see susan collins going into that direction. susan collins is a moderate republican, not one to be known to be an obstructionist in any capacity. she was one of the primary sponsors of don't ask, don't tell repeal when that went through last year. so it's interesting to see susan colin goss on this line of attack saying she doesn't want to see the u.n. ambassador be a political spokesperson like susan rice was on the sunday shows. also opening up the new line of attacks when susan rice was in charge during the attacks in africa. that is something to a chill observer seems like okay, susan collins has done her research, that would be brought up in a confirmation hearing specifically saying why did you fail the country supposedly back in th
Nov 28, 2012 11:00am PST
. senators ayotte, graham and mccain, republicans who had from the get-go before they talked to her vowed -- or threatened to block her nomination. so that was one thing. today is different because that senator you just played, susan collins, is among the last remaining moderate republicans here. she does have a lot of information about what happened because she is the top republican on the homeland security committee, and she actually has a history of supporting susan rice. she was the one who introduced susan rice when she was at her confirmation hearing for the post she's in now as u.n. ambassador. so the fact that susan collins even has questions, i asked her point blank if she could support rice for secretary of state, and her answer was not yet. she has to have other questions answered. that's not a good sign for rice, but we should underscore a couple of things. one, she hasn't been nominated yet. and, two, she -- rice does have a lot of support from democrats who still have the majority. the issue is whether or not she'll need, if she's nominated, 60 votes to get confirmed. >> wha